Filming tips

The most difficult part of using and editing user-submitted footage is consistancy. Take a look at our filming tips so you can get the best out of your videos.

There is no right or wrong way to film your videos. It doesn't matter if you film indoors or outdoors, handheld or with a tripod. The tips below are just that, tips (except for the Must Do's). Film in a way that makes you most comfortable.

Must Do's

Record in Landscape Mode

You are recording for a movie, not snapchat.  Record in Landscape mode to fill the screen.

Use Your Best Quality

Record with the best quality possible. Try to shoot in 1080p or 4K at 30fps.

Flight Mode

If you are filming with a phone, turn on Flight Mode while filming so messages and calls don't interrupt your filming

Sit Down Technique & Indoors

Eye Level

Position your camera at nose level, so you are versy slightly looking down at the camera. Don't look up at your camera like you are taking a selfie, and don't hold it too low so we can see up your nose.

Position Yourself

Position yourself slightly off-center, not directly in the middle of the shot. It doesn't matter if it is to the left or right. We understand maintaining this position will be difficult with handheld.

Light Yourself

Take note of where your main light source is and light the other side of your face with a desk lamp, or something white that can bounce light back onto your face.

Handheld Technique & Outdoors

Camera Position

Like the 'sit down' technique, Don't hold your camera too high or low. Try to keep your camera around nose/eye nose level. Use a selfie-slick if you have one so your face isn't too close to the camera.

Wind is noisy

Try not to film in windy conditions. Even though you might not notice it, wind on a microphone can kill all of your recorded audio.


If you are outdoors, make sure your main light source (possibly the sun) is behind your camera, but slightly off center so it lights your face without casting the shadow of the camera on your face.

More Tips

Check your surroundings

Check around you before you start filming to make sure there are no copyrighted logos, products or branding on clothing, posters or items in the background.

Be Yourself

Speak from the heart. You don't have to script what you want to say (some notes might help). We want to see you, not a performance.

Relax, don't rush

It's common that you might mess up your words, stutter or go blank.  Don't stop recording, just pause, take a breath and restart your sentence. You don't have to do it in one take.

What else can I do

Different elements help make a documentary visually interesting. To stop a movie being "in your face" the whole time, we use cutaway shots and pauses where you aren't speaking to add perspective and emotion. Here are a few ideas. You don't have to do these, but they can be really helpful.

Pad your video

Add 10 seconds of stillness before and after your video. Start recording, get in position, and hold that position for 10 seconds before you start speaking (don't forget to breathe and relax). Likewise, when you are finished, wait for 10 seconds before you reach for that stop button.

Show us your surroundings

One type of 'Cutaway' shot. If you are indoors and your light source is from a window. Film a few seconds of what is outside the window. If you are outside, turn the camera around and show us what you are looking at. Around 10 seconds of stable footage like this is fine.

YOU in your surroundings

Film a perspective of yourself in the surrounddings. An extension of the last point, but have yourself in the video, from side on, from the back, or same perspective as the video in a wider shot.

Advanced Tips

Here are some helpful tutorial videos we found on the interweb. Please note that these are for reference only and not made by Stub a Toe Productions. You do not need to make your videos look professional like these, nor do you need to buy any of the equipment mentioned in the videos. Just use what you have available to you, and film the way that suits you.

Look out for the tips on Manual Focus and Manual Exposure. These are very helpful in keeping your video in focus when there is movement around you, and to stop the light levels jumping up and down if filming outdoors.

Filming tips for iPhone

Filming tips for Android

Filming tips for Webcams

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